Monday, 20 March 2023

The National Security, Cyber Risks, Geopolitical, Career, Educational Implications of Artificial Intelligence’ – ChatGPT

Introduction: Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines or computer systems that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. Similarly, ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an online artificial intelligence chatbot that is trained to have human-like conversations and generate detailed responses to queries or questions. ChatGPT became a blockbuster and a global sensation when it was released in November 2022. According to web traffic data from, OpenAI’s ChatGPT surpassed one billion page visits in February 2023, cementing its position as the fastest-growing App in history. In contrast, it took TikTok about nine months after its global launch to reach 100 million users, while Instagram took more than two years. Users of ChatGPT span the world, with the United States having the highest number of users, accounting for 15.73% of the total. India is second with 7.10%. China is 20th with 16.58%, Nigeria is 24th with 12.24% while South Africa is 41st with 12.63%, as at March 14, 2023. OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT is currently valued at about $29 billion. Feedback and reactions from academics, global and business leaders to artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT, is mixed.  The likes of Bill Gates agree that ChatGPT can free up time in workers lives by making employees more efficient. A research titled – ‘’Experimental Evidence on the Productivity Effects of Generative Artificial Intelligence’’ - by two economics PhD candidates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) attests that using ChatGPT made white collar work swifter with no sacrifice in quality and then made it easier to “improve work quickly”. Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, recently revealed that the opening part of his speech was written by artificial intelligence software -ChatGPT. Lately, Bill Gates and the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, were reportedly grilled by AI ChatGPT during an interview. Similarly, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) enlisted ChatGPT to write a press release about a new task force exploiting novel ways to forestall the threat of unmanned aerial systems. On the flip side, Elon Musk, is of the opinion that ‘’artificial intelligence is the real existential risk to humankind''. According to Musk,  ''artificial intelligence will outsmart humanity and overtake human civilization in less than five years’’. On March 29, 2023, an open letter with signatures from a bevy of 1,000 prominent tech leaders and researchers from academic and industrial heavyweights like Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Caltech, Columbia, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, including Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, surfaced online, urging the world’s leading artificial intelligence labs to pause the training of new super-powerful systems for six months, saying that recent advances in AI present “profound risks to society and humanity''. Prior to now, theoretical physicist and one of Britain's pre-eminent scientists, Professor Stephen Hawking, seem to agree with Elon Musk. He warned in in 2014 that artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. In the words of Hawking, "Once humans develop artificial intelligence it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate’’. He went further to asset that, ‘’Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded’’. Cybersecurity experts from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a branch of the United Kingdom’s Spy agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), says artificially intelligent chatbots like ChatGPT pose a security threat because sensitive queries, including potentially user-identifiable information could be hacked or leaked.